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Ophrys dyris x fusca


O. dyris was first described by Maire from the Atlas mountains of Morocco in 1931 and its name refers to   "Dyris" the name given by Pliny to the mountains of the Moroccan Atlas.

This is an uncommon member of the O. omegaifera group and belongs to a set of three species which reside in the western Mediterranean,  primarily in the  Iberian peninsula where they have become isolated from their  largely Aegean based cousins. The other two members are  O. vasconica  and  O. algarvensis  and its the introgression of O. dyris by O. fusca s.l. that would seem to be the basis of the formation of these latter two hybridogenous species.
     

O. dyris is a distinctive species and relatively easy to identify in the field due to the virtual lack of a groove in the throat at the base of the lip. Occasional hybridization between this species and members of the O. fusca  group is regularly (though not particularly commonly) recorded but where this occurs the resultant offspring always seem to possess a central groove in the lip ( see pictures ).  Its strange therefore that O. algarvensis which is thought to be the result of the same but a more ancient union of these two taxons,  does not have a groove in the throat.

O. dyris x fusca is therefore a recognizable hybrid which may be found wherever their respective ranges overlap and this covers a wide area of Spain, Portugal and North Africa. It should also be remembered that O. dyris shares range with other members of the O. fusca group such as O. forestieri and O. arnoldii and these will also routinely interbreed.  The pictures are from Malaga province and date from the beginning of April.          













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